Was The UN A Justifiable Target?
by Amer Jubran
August 30, 2003
In the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, the United Nations was at the center of telling events. As the US, invoking the “international community” and its legitimacy, bludgeoned its way into a massive attack against Iraq, a bizarre double standard became evident – a crisis concerning weapons of mass destruction was created from thin air, while real crises with countless United Nations resolutions connected to them were entirely overlooked. Such crises were Palestine, Chechnya, and Columbia. Meanwhile, the UN turned its back as the US implemented repressive policies against Muslims and Arabs both within its boundaries and around the globe in its endless “War on Terror.”
Where did the UN come from?
The end of World War II in 1945 crowned the “Allies” victors. They needed to lay to rest the old global political regime embodied in the League of Nations. Their propaganda was for establishing a more democratic, just, and fair world body. But their true intention was to institute global political domination to complement the military domination they had just achieved. The League of Nations represented the shared global political power of England, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, all of whom were on the losing side in WWII. Although France and England were declared victorious, they were no longer the dominant colonial superpowers. They had lost most of their colonies, wealth, and military resources. They were declared winners only because of their association with the United States.
The Russians were devastated by the war. The best they could do was to sit down, willingly or not, with the United States in the Mediterranean Island of Yalta, and agree to plans for carving up the world according to US wishes. A death certificate for the League of Nations was issued. It was time to declare the new Empire, the new age of political, economic, and military domination of the United States of America. Accordingly, a birth certificate for the United Nations was issued in New York in October, 1945, without contest.
The US sought in the UN a political tool, one that would cultivate the image of the US as a nation that acts according to the will of an international community. The mechanism of nations meeting, discussing, and voting on resolutions appeared to be very democratic, legitimizing the US in the eyes of the rest of the world and of its own citizens. Most importantly, all votes and actions by the new world body implied compliance with something called “international law.”
The late 50’s and early 60’s brought a new era of international relations, with the emerging power of so-called “Third World” countries. The liberation movements in these countries brought pressure on members of the First World to comply with basic universal declarations. The new master, the US, responded by controlling the process of decision-making in the United Nations by creating a Security Council in which a minority of permanent members held decisive veto power while a majority of non-permanent members held no power whatsoever. This step rendered all resolutions decided and voted on by the United Nations General Assembly meaningless.
The United States also created organizations to deal with its needs and goals independent of the United Nations. Such organizations are the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, Pacific Nations Market Alliance, and NAFTA. The US undermined any efforts to build a collective international stabilizing power based on the declared vision of the United Nations. NATO was established only as a military alliance to be used to strike at anyone who dared to challenge US might. The pretext used for this alliance was the Cold War. NATO was founded among the allies of Europe, led by the USA.
Palestine is a very good example of what the United Nations is all about. When the US inherited the Zionist project – Israel -- from Great Britain during WWII, it became important to legtitimize Israel’s racism. The US requested an approval from Stalin during the Yalta talks for Palestine to be transformed into a Jewish State. The project had Churchill’s approval. In 1947, the UN, an organization that was supposed to promote non-aggression and equality based on all countries respecting one another, voted on a US-British Partition Plan in which the land of Palestine was divided between European settlers and the indigenous Arabic Palestinian population. The UN thus appointed to itself the authority to divide a country according to a colonial British initiative.
Once Palestinians were uprooted by the Zionist strategy of population transfer, the UN responded to such aggression by providing the Palestinians tents instead of acting forcefully to stop the transfer and bring refugees home. Later, all efforts by the UN were devoted to physically resettling Palestinian refugees by building schools and homes for them in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, far from their occupied homeland. International calls for justice for the Palestinians in the UN always met with a US veto. Only diluted resolutions, such as 194, 187, and 242, which were far from restoring justice, were passed. These resolutions lacked any mechanism for implementation or enforcement. Thanks to US protection in the UN, Israel has historically been immune from prosecution for its crimes against the people of Palestine.
The UN’s behavior in Palestine is mirrored in the nation of Iraq. In Iraq, the UN facilitated a justification for US war in 1991, followed by a weapons inspections program and 13 years of devastating sanctions. Adding together the first and second wars, and sanctions, and the current occupation, the death toll in Iraq under UN supervision now approaches 2 million.
Allegations of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction were brought to the UN by the United States, whose only agenda was to assert the New American Century and commence the new Bush Pre-emptive Doctrine. The US used the inspections as a cover to buy off Iraqi officials and military personnel, collect intelligence on Iraqi arms, and, astonishingly, to force Iraq to destroy the very weapons it might use to defend itself against the massive US invasion. Iraq was forced to destroy El-somoud missiles up until the evening of March 18th, when the US invasion began. General Franks, the US military leader during the invasion of Iraq, spoke of how CIA spies were part of the inspection teams touring Iraq, and how they contacted the Iraqi Republican Army leadership and offered money in return for collaboration.
The UN paved the way for the US invasion of Iraq by providing a series of resolutions as a pretext, and then entered Iraq as part of the occupation. Furthermore, the UN accepted the US puppet regime -- the so-called “Transitional Governing Council of Iraq” -- which legitimized an occupation that meant for Iraqis the severe privation of basic daily needs, such as electricity, food, and water; a severe shortage of fuel – this in the land of one of the world’s largest oil reserves; and, finally, the further destruction of their civilization.
The August 19, 2003 attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad was an attack on the US. The US was facing a worsening situation as a new occupying colonial power, and needed to use the UN, once again, to get out of it. Because of the Iraqi resistance, the occupation of Iraq has not turned out to be the easy ride Uncle Sam envisioned. At no time has the UN been an innocent bystander.